SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) - A Simi Valley city official is facing calls for his resignation after a social media post in which he referred to the use of hoses on protesters as a solution to end the rioting and unrest across much of Southern California.
Mayor Pro Tem Mike Judge posted the meme on his Facebook page Monday, which read, "Wanna stop the riots? Mobilize the septic tank trucks, put a pressure cannon on 'em, and hose 'em down. The end."
Judge - who is also 30-year veteran with the LAPD - said the meme was a joke meant to poke fun at the face mask debate.
He wrote a caption at the top of the meme that read, "This is brilliant. It will also enforce the mask rule."
"That's all I wanted to do, was make fun of the mask wearing but obviously people didn't take it that way," he said. "I don't think I did anything wrong, except maybe post a joke that was in bad taste."
Judge's social media pages have been flooded with comments from people critical of his post, with one person pointing out the hoses used on black protesters in the 1960s, to which Judge replied, "Are you equating the peaceful protests of the '60s with the rioting and looting of today?"
One Simi resident who asked not to be identified told CBS2's Kristine Lazar she was concerned that Judge's post could put protesters in harm's way.
"If a city councilman is going to talk about hosing down protesters, what's to say that the people that follow him aren't going to do the same thing?" she said.
Simi Valley Councilwoman Ruth Luevanos - who last year was at the center of another racially charged controversy after she referred to border detention centers as "concentration camps" - was also concerned about Judge's comments.
"The fact that he referenced hoses to stop an African American protest shows that he doesn't know anything about civil rights history in this country, and that he has a lack of consideration or empathy for our African American community," said Luevanos.
Judge - who dismisses any accusations that he is a racist and says he respects the right to protest - said he doesn't believe Simi Valley should host a scheduled protest this weekend.
"We have gotten a bad rap because of the Rodney King trial, and I think it puts us in a cross hair and I think drawing more attention to us is not a good idea," he said.
LAPD confirmed they were aware of Judge's posts and that internal affairs is reviewing them.
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